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SEILERT, H. AND SUCHAT SANGCHAN. 2001. Small-scale fishery in Southeast Asia: a case study in southern Thailand. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok Thailand. RAP Publication 2001/19. 63 p.

This study of small-scale fishery along the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand can be divided into three sections. The first section, based on the Marine Fishery Census of Thailand, provides the socio-geographic background of fishery, i.e. the numbers of fishing villages, households and fisherfolk. The second section, based on all data collected, provides an in-depth view of the three main types of small-scale fishing gear used along the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand. In the final section, the estimated catch and income data are combined with the socio-geographic data to obtain an overall view of small-scale fishery and to develop management recommendations to support small-scale fisherfolk.

The three types of gear - namely the trammel net, the crab bottom gillnet and the mackerel gillnet - and their respective fishing grounds, use and seasonal restrictions are presented. During 1995-96 qualitative catch data as well as effort, catch per unit effort and income per unit effort for the trammel net (360 units), the crab bottom gillnet (137 units) and the mackerel gillnet (198 units) were collected from six representative villages in the bay of Phang-nga. With more than one thousand samples for some gear over several years, the calculated catch per unit effort and income per unit effort are used as a reliable base for the calculation of the total catch and income generated along the Andaman Sea coast.

The profit per fishing effort for the trammel net was Baht (Bt) 212.5, for the crab bottom gillnet Bt138.4 and for the mackerel gillnet Bt462. The resulting net income per household was Bt33032, Bt14947 and Bt25002 per year, respectively. This is between 8.5 and 25 percent of the average household income in the whole kingdom.

Small-scale fishery along the Andaman Sea coast accounts for 0.7 to 14 percent of the total catch in Thailand as defined by FAO statistics. Five-percent of the total catch comes from the use of the most common small-scale fishing gear, the trammel net, and it is assumed that this is a realistic figure for the catch of small-scale fishery.

Based on these figures, on the description of alternate income-generating activities and on the constraints faced in small-scale fishery, recommendations for small-scale fishery management are presented. It is pointed out that successful management includes diversification of fishing activities, creation of fishing cooperatives, community-based fishery management and a shift from commercial to small-scale fishery - all this in the context of sustainable fishing practices and law enforcement.


FAO Fishery Department
Fishery Officers in FAO Regional Offices
International Fishery Organizations

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